New Study Finds Marijuana Use May Significantly Lower Liver Disease Risk
A new study has found marijuana use may actually protect your liver. The research suggests that people who regularly drink alcohol and also smoke weed have a significantly less risk of liver disease than alcoholics who did not use marijuana. The study was done by researchers at the National Institute of Scientific Research at the University of Quebec and published in the Liver International journal.
The research examined the discharge records of almost 320,000 patients who had a past or current history of alcohol abuse. While examining the medical records they noticed that alcoholics who also smoked weed had a significantly lower chance of developing liver disease. The study found that alcoholics who did not use cannabis had a 90% chance of developing liver diseases such as steatosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and cirrhosis. However, alcohol abusers who also used marijuana only had an 8% chance of getting liver disease. The research went even farther and discovered that individuals who were dependent cannabis users who also drink a lot only had a 1.36% chance of liver disease.
“Our study revealed that among alcohol users, individuals who additionally use cannabis (dependent and non-dependent cannabis use) showed significantly lower odds of developing alcoholic steatosis (AS), steatohepatitis (AH), cirrhosis (AC) and(HCC),” the study said. “Further, dependent users had significantly lower odds than non-dependent users for developing liver disease.”
The study did not have a concrete reason why tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) and cannabidiols (CBD) may help to reduce liver damage. However, the authors referenced animal studies, that have shown anti-inflammatory properties of cannaboids may reduce inflammation of the liver, thus reducing long-term damage. This echoes the same findings from a study released in October. Research of 8,200 patient records found that the “lowest prevalence of [non-alcoholic fatty liver disease] was noted in current heavy users of marijuana.”